In our Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), a single Trust is responsible for all of the member academies (9 academies as at December 2016).
The member academies and Chairs of Governors in Wolverhampton currently comprise:
- Moseley Park (secondary) – Chair, Lynne Mincher
- Heath Park (secondary) – Chair, Melvyn Pope
- Woden Primary – Chair, Laura Nicholls
- Wolverhampton Vocational Training Centre (post-16 Vocational special)
- Westcroft School – Chair for Westcroft and WVTC, Barry Austin
- Broadmeadow Special – Chair, Susan Ellick
The member academies in Rotherham also comprise:
- Eastwood Village Primary, East Dene Primary and Coleridge Primary – Chair, Ray Griffiths MBE
The MAT consists of the Members and the Trustees.
The Members are akin to the shareholders of a company. They have ultimate control over the academy Trust, with the ability to appoint some of the Trustees and the right to amend the Trust’s Articles of Association.
There are 5 Members of CLPT:
- Joan Pilsbury
- Melvyn Pope
- Robert Turton *
- Philip Marshall *
- Dr Councillor Michael Hardacre *
(* These are also Trustees who sit on the Trust Board)
The Members are responsible for holding the Trustees to account. Two Members, who were original signatories, are not Trustees.
There are 7 Trustees
- Robert Turton (Chair)
- Dr Councillor Michael Hardacre
- Philip Marshall
- Helen Child
- Tim Manson
- Georgetta Holloway OBE
- Doug Selkirk OBE (CEO)
Trustees are responsible for the following core governance functions:
- setting the direction
- holding the CEO/headteachers to account
- ensuring financial probity
As charity Trustees, they also ensure that they are complying with charity law requirements. Academy Trusts are charitable companies and the Trustees are company directors and must comply with company law requirements. CLPT Trustees sit on a Trust Board which requires them to regularly attend meetings, manage conflicts of interest, seek advice from the academies leadership teams and Executive Directors and ensure that the academies have appropriate procedures in place for reporting financial information. The Trust Board has delegated some of its decision making to a Finance and Personnel Committee and an Audit and Risk Committee to assist in discharging its functions.
CLPT Articles of Association state that the Chair of the Board of Trustees will also be a Member, thereby ensuring a link between the two layers.
Local Governing Bodies
CLPT has local governing bodies (LGBs) and its membership are referred to as ‘governors’.
The details of what has been delegated from the Trustees to local governors is detailed in a CLPT Scheme of Delegation. Even though some functions have been delegated to LGB’s, the Trustees still remain accountable and responsible for these functions. (n.b. local governors are not Trustees of the Academy Trust).
All of the member academies in Wolverhampton have individual LGB’s. In Rotherham there is an Executive LGB which oversees the three primary schools.
The Governing Board of Trustees (Directors) has overall responsibility for the charitable aims of the charity and for all financial matters relating to the charitable Trust. They are responsible for ensuring that each academy conforms to the requirements of DfE, The Charities Commission and other regulating bodies.
The Trust currently has seven Board members which includes the Chief Executive and the Lead Headteacher.
Governance For New Schools Joining the Trust
Structural change, in any area of life, creates turbulence and the structural change of a school, from maintained to academy status, is no different. With this in mind, the Trust has moved to ensure that the implications for the governance of all schools undergoing conversion are minimised. There is however a difference, in our approach, between the process we adopt for converter and sponsor-led academies.
With the former, we do not make any changes to the composition of their governing body, other than adding two Trust nominees. It may well be that those nominees are already existing members of a particular governing body or they may be new additions.
For a sponsored-led academy, the Trust will add two nominees to the governing body and over a period of time reduce the number of governors to a minimum of nine voting members. This model will remain in place until the academy in question receives a “good or better” Ofsted judgement.
The Trust, in consultation with Governing Bodies, has articulated the Delegations for decision making so that there is clarity on responsibilities and who undertakes important tasks such as appointments, much in the same way as the LA has done previously.